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The minor who stunned the city

Cong Corrales

WHILE the 9th grader who killed a school teacher in front a stunned class has surrendered to the authorities, another minor with equally murderous intentions is still out there.

I remember a news report from RMN’s DxCC way back about a gang of minors who allegedly taught themselves how to kill a person. They practiced on banana trunks. They actively recruited minors to their gang.

I’m bringing this back because I’m convinced these two are related.

Authorities learned that 15-year old Jimmy (not his real name) and another classmate played a hand of “Bato-bato-pick” (Rock-Paper-Scissors) to decide who will kill their teacher. It was also learned that the murder weapon was not even his.

The teenager has confirmed this. “Ingon akong classmate magbato-bato kami, kon kinsa kuno sa among duha ang makatumba sa among teacher, pero wala ko motingog,” Jimmy told our news correspondent in a brief interview.

Worse, there were reports that showed Jimmy did not regret doing what he did.

Almost automatically, most comments are that the 9th grader is into drugs. This is what happens when we ride the bandwagon called “war on drugs.” Not all crimes are drugelated.

Could it not be that the boy has deep-seated undiagnosed mental health issues? Then again, there is that distinct possibility that this online gaming (read: computer games) generation has alienated some of these minors and turned them into violent sociopaths.

Manang Rhona Canoy observed that the demeanor of the 9th grader, as described by his family in media interviews, is similar to those who committed similar heinous crimes in schools in the US. I say, this is even more disturbing because of the age. I posit the 9th grader knew he could get away with it because of Pangilinan’s Juvenile Welfare Law.

Whether it is genetics or peer pressure, the murder has offered us a new reality. The reality that there are minors capable of such heinous acts and the more we sweep it under the rug, the more it will blow up in our faces.

The grapevine in our neighborhood says the teacher had it coming because she was “strict.” If that’s the case, then we will certainly see more of these murders happening.

My sister-in-law is a public teacher. It is a thankless job. I can empathize why she is affected by the murder of a colleague.

At the very least, social workers and psychologist should widen their reach in psycho-social therapies. This conversation may be uncomfortable to most of us but this conversation has to happen because something tells me this will not be the last.


About Cong Corrales

Before joining the Gold Star Daily, Cong worked as the deputy director of the multimedia desk of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and before that he served as a writing fellow of Vera Files. Under the pen name "Cong," Leonardo Vicente B. Corrales has worked as a journalist since 2008. Corrales has published news, in-depth, investigative and feature articles on agrarian reform, peace and dialogue initiatives, climate justice, and socio-economics in local and international news organizations, which which includes among others: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World, MindaNews,, Agence France-Presse, Xinhua News Wires, Thomson-Reuters News Wires,, and Pecojon-PH.

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